A Post-Geocentric Gravitography of Human Culture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the role of gravity in shaping human culture. While it is now common to speak of humans becoming a multiplanetary species, this is more accurately an adaptation to variable gravity environments. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was one of the first to speculate about how different gravities would restructure human social life, arguing that microgravity would create social equality. Science fiction writers, by contrast, have often envisaged futures where only the rich make it off-world, creating a deep social divide. Gravity environments beyond Earth’s surface require adaptations in bodies, material culture, and social forms. Our sample so far consists of transitory journeys between Earth and space lasting from hours in the orbital region, to days on the Moon, to over a year in the International Space Station in Low Earth Orbit. In observing what remains constant in human societies through these transitions, we are better able to understand the core of what makes us human than by delving into the deep past alone.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Social Studies of Outer Space
EditorsJuan Francisco Salazar, Alice Gorman
Place of PublicationOxon, UK
PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781000890617, 9781003280507
ISBN (Print)9781032248615, 9781032248745
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Space exploration
  • Gravity
  • Gravity environments
  • Human culture


Dive into the research topics of 'A Post-Geocentric Gravitography of Human Culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this